I have discussed numerous times that history of one of the most well known state roads in Indiana…State Road 100. If you would like to see the first post I did on the subject, check out “SR 100: How Did It Come To Be,” a blog entry that appeared on ITH on 9 March 2019.
But when exactly did Shadeland Avenue, the road still called Road 100 by mostly older locals, end being SR 100? And why did it just go away?
The answer stems from a very small inaccuracy that I made when it came to the state roads coming into Indianapolis. Indiana has a law on the books that only allows INDOT to carry an inventory of 12,000 miles of roads. When I say roads, basically anything that carries a state issued number is part of the system. When it comes to interstates, the ramps connecting the interstate to another street or road are also counted. I have mentioned it before…it leads to some very out of the way posted detours.
The inaccuracy came from when I mentioned US 52 on the southeast side of Marion County. US 52 was the first road that was removed from Indianapolis, and placed on the new Interstate 465 bypass. It was the first road that didn’t get into Indianapolis past I-465. But this isn’t entirely accurate. On the southeast side, the designation US 52 DID travel within the loop…but barely. When the bypass of US 52 was created, there was no direct connection between US 52 (Brookville Road) and I-465. Or, more to the point, there was only half a connection. For the US 52 bypass to work, Brookville Road continued to be US 52 until it reached SR 100, Shadeland Avenue, one half mile later.
This made the US 52 bypass use part of SR 100 in its route. As I-465 was completed, and legally replaced SR 100, the SR 100 designation started to be rolled back. In the early 1970’s, most of the route was given back to Indianapolis (which by that time covered the entire county). All of the signs marking SR 100 were removed. But the state still held on to the small section on the east side connecting I-465 to US 40 (Washington Street at the Cloverleaf). This remained legally SR 100, even though it was no longer marked as such.
Personal note here. As much as I have lived on the east side of Marion County in my life, I have never, other than on a map, actually ever seen a SR 100 sign. The closest I have come are the little blue reference markers that aren’t mileposts, but are numbered one mile apart most of the time. I have seen several times little blue signs with white lettering that read “SR 100.”
After a while, INDOT even stopped marking the Official Highway Maps with the designation SR 100. It still belonged to the state, but it was a shadow state road. Unless you knew it was SR 100, there was nothing telling you that it ever was.
Due to the way that I-465 was built, the US 52 bypass would travel around the south side of Marion County, until it reached the original I-465 connection to I-65 on the northwest side.
On 1 July 1999, INDOT officially rerouted both US 31 and US 40 along the I-465 loop, decommissioning those two roads inside the bypass. Both would use the south and east legs of the loop. Because US 40 no longer existed between the two interchanges with I-465, SR 100 was officially decommissioned in its entirety from I-465 to US 40, removing the number 100 from the state inventory. The section from Brookville Road south to the interstate was still part of the state road system, as there still was no complete connection between US 52 and I-465.
By 2001, a connection from I-465 north to US 52 was completed, and the ramps connecting Brookville Road to Shadeland Avenue southbound were removed. This also led to a rather large reconstruction of both Shadeland Avenue and I-465 at this point, with the wide sweeping curves that had been present before completely removed. By the end of 2001, the ramp connecting Brookville Road to I-465 was completed, officially removing any section of all state roads inside the I-465 loop. It was also at this time that the official US 52 was routed north on I-465. Thus it traveled across the north side of the county, and along what became I-865 to Whitestown.
The official end of SR 100 was on 1 July 1999. But it was kept alive by the state for 20+ years, at least in part, due to the original plan of connecting US 52 to the bypass.